Post Tagged with: "Bobby Harrell"

Bobby Harrell “Blindsided”

January 15, 2014 9:30 PM
Bobby Harrell “Blindsided”

SC House Speaker Bobby Harrell held a press conference yesterday in Columbia in what appeared to be an attempt to regain control of the message on the ongoing ethics investigation into his use of campaign funds.

Speaking approximately one hour before the House was gaveled into its opening 2014 session, Harrell appeared to believe he could, somehow, stop the ethics investigation against him from going to the Grand Jury.

Harrell said he was “shocked and blindsided” by the news the investigation was being referred to the Grand Jury. He said both the attorney general’s office and SLED continuously told Harrell and his attorneys that they found, in the course of the investigation, “nothing that concerned them”.

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Bobby Harrell Ethics Case Going to Grand Jury

January 13, 2014 9:00 PM
Bobby Harrell Ethics Case Going to Grand Jury

SC Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that he is referring the ethics case against SC Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell to the State Grand Jury.

The case includes investigation of the approximately $325,000 Harrell reimbursed to himself from campaign funds with only general records of the expenses, according to a series by Renee Dudley, then of the Charleston Post and Courier.

According to Dudley’s stories, Harrell failed to meet the requirements of state law section 8-13-1302, which enumerates requirements for maintenance of expenditure records from campaign contributions.

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Transparency and Reform Dead on Vine

March 30, 2013 9:00 AM
Transparency and Reform Dead on Vine

Ethics reform and government transparency sounded great on the campaign trails last fall, but the reality in Columbia is another year will pass without any meaningful changes taking place in state government.

The S.C. General Assembly is up to its old tricks of exempting itself from the laws that govern all other elected officials in the state.

Two bills that may have added real oversight over state legislators appear to be dead on the vine. One would have gotten rid of the House and Senate ethics committees and put legislators under the same ethics commission that oversees all other public officials in the state.

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South Carolina’s Transportation Infrastructure Problems

January 28, 2013 10:10 PM
South Carolina’s Transportation Infrastructure Problems

The battle to save South Carolina’s transportation infrastructure, especially roads and bridges, seems to be joined in the state government this year.

A bill to do away with the State Infrastructure Bank and roll its responsibilities into the Department of Transportation appears to have a chance of success as does one that would require prioritizing road projects with maintenance and repair of existing roads as the top priority.

In her State of the State address, Gov. Nikki Haley urged state lawmakers to fix crumbling roads and bridges.

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Ethics Reform Commission Actions

December 12, 2012 9:00 PM
Ethics Reform Commission Actions

Gov. Nikki Haley’s Ethics Reform Commission continued its work yesterday with another public hearing soliciting comments on how to reform and strengthen ethics laws in South Carolina.

The commission is scheduled to summarize comments and testimony January 8, 2013 and draft recommendations. On January 22nd it will discuss final recommendations and written report with January 28th being the date the report will be presented to the governor, the General Assembly and the public.

This all sounds great, but it probably isn’t going anywhere. It will take legislative action by the General Assembly and we don’t see that happening beyond some minor, face-saving measures being passed.

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Bobby Harrell’s Travel Reimbursements

October 29, 2012 8:00 AM
Bobby Harrell’s Travel Reimbursements

South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell’s problems with travel reimbursements continued last week when The Nerve reported problems with travel reimbursement records since 2008.

House mileage reimbursements for legislators are generally restricted to one round trip per week while the legislature is in session.

The Nerve reported Harrell was reimbursed for nine weekly round trips for use of his airplane and 21 weekly round trips by car in 2008. However, the House was only in session for 23 weeks that year.

Similarly, in 2012 the House spent 20 weeks in session while Harrell was reimbursed for 18 round trips by car and five round trips by air.

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Bobby Harrell and His Campaign Funds

September 25, 2012 4:36 PM
Bobby Harrell and His Campaign Funds

South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell has refused to provide detailed receipts of more than $325,000 he reimbursed himself from campaign contributions, according to an ongoing series of stories by Renee Dudley, AKA “little girl” of the Charleston Post and Courier.

For nearly a month, the reporter has been requesting receipts and itemized expenses, as required by state ethics law and subject to public disclosure. S.C. Code of Laws Section 8-13-1302 enumerates requirements for maintenance of expenditure records from campaign contributions.

Disclosure reports on campaign receipts and expenditures are required to be filed quarterly with the S.C. Ethics Commission. These are supposed to include a detailed listing of to whom and for what purpose expenditures are made.

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Will Haley be Next Political Casualty of 2012?

May 27, 2012 6:16 AM
Will Haley be Next Political Casualty of 2012?

In this strangest of all political seasons, the number of political casualties continues to rise by the week as new disclosures are made about challengers and incumbents. And it is not over yet by a long shot.

Over 200 state and local candidates for elective office have already been removed from the June 12th primary ballots and more seem destined to be disqualified in the upcoming weeks.

Two front running candidates for the new 7th Congressional District seat ended their campaigns after being arrested for what can only be called “extremely stupid acts” on their part.

Now, Gov. Nikki Haley’s ethics, while a state representative, are getting a second look and it appears that there is a lot more fire than smoke in the complaint against her.

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Harrell Responds to Haley Accusations

May 26, 2012 4:58 AM
Harrell Responds to Haley Accusations

The fight over alleged ethics violations by Gov. Nikki Haley when she served as a member of the House is being heard far and wide from Columbia.

The governor claimed House Speaker Bobby Harrell was interfering with the House Ethics Committee investigation, which could be an ethics violation in itself. Harrell responded to those charges yesterday.

“Statements made by Governor Haley today at a press conference are simply not true.”

“It is not true to claim that lawyers for the House Ethics Committee were ‘directed’ to refuse to meet with the Governor’s lawyers in order to accept the documents the Committee requested. The truth is, the Governor’s lawyers did in fact present those documents directly to counsel for the Ethics Committee…”

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State Ethics Committee Violated State Law

May 16, 2012 6:10 AM
State Ethics Committee Violated State Law

The appeal of Republican operative John Rainey to House Speaker Bobby Harrell asking the full House to re-consider ethics complaints against Gov. Nikki Haley, for actions when she was a House member, virtually screams for an investigation to be opened.

The fact that stands out most in Rainey’s appeal is that just minutes before voting 5-1 to dismiss an ethics complaint by Rainey against Haley, the House Ethics Committee voted unanimously that probable cause existed to investigate the complaint.

S.C. Code of Laws Section 8-13-540 states, “If the ethics committee determines complaint alleges facts sufficient to constitute a violation, it shall promptly investigate the alleged violation and may compel by subpoena the testimony of witnesses and the production of pertinent books and papers.”

In failing to investigate the complaint and, instead, voting to dismiss it, the ethics committee violated state law. There doesn’t appear the committee is allowed any discretion in this decision as the law plainly states “shall promptly investigate.”

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